Uprising at Bannock County Jail, Idaho

Uprising at Bannock County Jail, Idaho

Bannock County Detention Center, Pocatello, Idaho
July 11, 2018

Twenty-seven prisoners at the Bannock County Jail participate in an uprising in which they destroy sprinkler systems and stop up their sinks and toilets to flood their cells. According to the Bannock County Sheriff, Lorin Nielsen, the riot was caused by conditions of severe overcrowding.

After one prisoner attacks the sprinkler system in his cell and bangs on his cell door demanding to be let out, other prisoners join in by flooding their cells. The uprising forced the sheriff to reroute all incoming 911 calls to other agencies so that all Sheriff’s office employees could respond to the crisis.

After about two and a half hours, the uprising ended when a group of armed deputies entered the cells.

“Right now we have a correction crisis in our state,” Nielsen said. “The time-bomb is still ticking. And we need some help.”

The broken fire sprinkler. The water in the fire suppression system sits stagnant for multiple years before being dispersed, which is why it’s brown. (Photo Source: Courtesy Bannock County Sheriff’s Office via East Idaho News).
Post-riot cleanup. (Photo Source: Bannock County Sheriff’s Office via East Idaho News).

The issue of overcrowding at the Bannock County Jail is not new. In 2015, East Idaho News released the following video about overcrowding at the facility:


BANNOCK COUNTY JAIL RIOT: Up to 27 inmates participated in massive disturbance at detention center“, Idaho State Journal, July 12, 2018.

Riot breaks out at Bannock County Jail; sheriff blames overcrowding“, East Idaho News, July 12, 2018.


Bannock County jail reaching max capacity,” YouTube, October 5, 2015.